When James Shaw and his wife, Lissa Barr Shaw, moved from Oklahoma City to Tulsa a couple of years ago, they were smitten.

“We could not think of a better place that we would like to live the rest of our lives,” she said. “Tulsa is so unique.”

The pair noted the city’s arts culture and penchant for philanthropy, most recently demonstrated by the creation of the George Kaiser-developed Gathering Place.

“It’s just steeped in everything we believe in,” he said.

Toward that coveted future, the Shaws recently gave a nod to the past, purchasing the penthouse formerly owned by legendary Tulsa oil magnate Waite Phillips in the Philcade Building.

They bought it from Philcade, LLC, managed by Price Family Properties Chairman Stuart Price, for $1.2 million, county land records show.

“It was just fortuitous that we had this opportunity,” said Lissa, who runs a small family foundation. “If Stuart hadn’t have been such an incredibly generous guy to even speak with us about owning this piece of history, it would have never happened.

“We will first and foremost be incredibly diligent stewards to the historical significance of the property. Also, we will use it to help raise money for different Tulsa charitable organizations.”

James, who works for BOK Financial, said “Stuart and his family love this city, see its growth, know its potential and are investing toward it. That made it that much more attractive.”

The Philcade Building, renowned for its architectural style, interior artwork and role in the city’s oil history, was completed in 1931.

Added in 1937 was the 14th floor and a 4,550-square-foot private residence for Phillips and his wife, Genevieve. It is where they resided after gifting Philbrook to the residents of Tulsa for an art museum, and they remained in the Philcade until moving to Bel Air, California, in 1945.

Waite died in 1964 and his spouse 15 years later. The Philcade was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Condominium plans filed with the Tulsa County Clerk in April call for the office building to be divided into 15 units (14 commercial and one residential) and governed by the Philcade Condominium Association. Price declined to elaborate.

“At Price Family Properties, we are going to continue to try to sell non-core assets to companies and people who want to participate in the resurgence that’s happening really all over America and cities our size,” he said.

Jackie Price Johannsen is president of Price Family Properties.

“They just really appreciate downtown and understand all that’s going on there and the excitement of making downtown a place where everyone lives,” Johannsen said of the Shaws. “By talking to them and getting to know them over the years, I just knew they appreciated the significance of this Waite Phillips’ penthouse.

“The original purpose of the space was a penthouse for someone to live. No one was utilizing it in that way. Now, somebody will. It’s just another wonderful couple that will be living downtown.”

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Rhett Morgan



Twitter: @RhettMorganTW